Or must we now say “Holiday Mischief”?
Like the Koran and other religious books, the Bible has been misused on a number of occasions by people with hateful agendas of malice toward specific fellow men. I am not going to use this occasion to deplore this practice; far from it. I am, instead, going to suggest some creative new ways to engage in this practice — just in time for the Christmas season.
First, I’m sure we all know people who deplore the ultra-jingoistic praise of America — the kind of purple rhetoric that has degenerated far, far down from patriotism into idolatrous nationalism. Now, let’s say that there are, among this group of people, a subgroup of people whom we really, really hate. Well, Christmas is coming, and your reindeer B-52 can drop on them a splendid new bunker-buster: The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America. This is a full-text Bible, in the fine NKJV translation; but, in addition to the text, it includes patriotic stories from American history. Our friend Rod Dreher, now a prominent blogger, has acclaimed this new Bible in the following words:
Get thee behind me, Satan. I am serious. This corruption of Holy Scripture for nationalist ends is deeply offensive, and even dangerous. I never want to have to choose between my country and my Lord, but if that day comes, I hope I have the courage to choose Christ. To the extent that this Bible’s publishers conflate serving Christ with patriotism, thereby implying that a Christian might never have to make that choice, they are corrupt, and corrupters.
Now, Rod’s a reasonable guy, and a genuine patriot, and this is how he reacted. So just imagine your Citizen of the World buddy opening this package on Christmas morning! From the family hearth — through apoplexy — straight to the emergency room.
But your holiday fun’s only just beginning. I’m sure you also know people who detest Obama, curse the day he was born (in Kenya, natch), and use the words “Communist” and “Fascist” to describe him only because all the other words they would use to describe him are not permitted in polite company. Now, let’s say there are among these people a subgroup of people you really, really hate. Don’t neglect them on Christmas! Give them The Lincoln/Obama Inaugural Bible Collection, which Amazon describes as “a one-of-a-kind keepsake featuring a velvet-covered replica of the Lincoln Bible used at President Obama’s inauguration, facsimiles of the official invitation and program, a commemorative booklet, and more.” If you go to this Amazon link, you can watch a short promotional video in which a woman’s hand lovingly unties a ribbon that encloses the Inaugural Addresses of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. Chortle with glee as your Obama-hating pal opens this one! He’ll probably end up in the ICU, too.
At all costs, though, make sure that the two guys don’t end up right next to each other in the hospital. That could too easily turn into a Hallmark Channel–style “teachable moment,” which would defeat the whole purpose.